analysisBy Wayne Sussman and Paul Berkowitz
By-elections were held on Wednesday in 20 wards across six provinces. The DA was the incumbent in most wards, defending all but one successfully. That ward was lost to the ANC, who also took a ward from COPE, winning two on the night. The DA in turn won two wards from the Minority Front (MF), so it also came out ahead overall.
In the Eastern Cape one ward was contested: ward 16 in Ntabankulu. The ANC won 98% of the vote in 2011 but lost a big piece of the vote to an independent candidate, Lumkile Mndela, who took 40% on Wednesday. Turnout fell from 55% (in the 2011 elections) to 35%.
Eight wards were contested in Gauteng, seven were DA incumbencies and one was won by the ANC in 2011. The DA successfully defended six wards but lost one to the ANC.
Ward 20 in Ekurhuleni (Bedfordview) was won by the DA with 85% of the vote in 2011 (ANC 14%). Michelle Clarke, the incumbent, went to the provincial legislature. The DA retained the seat on Wednesday with 97% of the vote (ANC 3%). Turnout fell from 64% to 27%.
In ward 24...